First Edition of the West Winfield STAR (earlier editions were known as the Winfield Standard)

The Greater Winfield Historical Society has completed a two-year-long project of digitizing historic publications of the West Winfield STAR. The project was funded by local community members and organizations who wanted to preserve this historic resource.

 In addition to the papers being digitized, the PDF copies of each paper are OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capable, meaning that anyone accessing the archive can narrow down search results within a particular year by using a keyword. For example, if one is searching for information regarding the merger of Leonardsville, Bridgewater and West Winfield school districts, one could open the document for 1969 and limit results by searching for “merge.”

 The idea to digitize the West Winfield STAR came from Gene and Mary Doremus, who owned the newspaper from 2015 to 2020. After their initial purchase of the West Winfield STAR, Gene and Mary Doremus also acquired ownership of the various issues of the newspaper with the oldest papers dating back to the mid-late 1800s. While many of the papers were in good shape, they were still delicate due to age and difficult to share with anyone who might be interested in examining their contents.

 Near the end of their ownership of the paper, Gene and Mary Doremus began digitizing various years of the West Winfield STAR (1897, 1947, 1965 and 1972) at a cost of $175 - $360 per year through Image Integrator, LLC in Syracuse.

 Realizing that this was a process they wanted to continue, Gene and Mary Doremus maintained ownership of the old newspapers when they sold the West Winfield STAR to Patty Louise at the Waterville Times.

 Initially, Gene and Mary Doremus planned to fund the approximately $20,000 process of digitizing the West Winfield STAR themselves; digitizing only a few years of the newspaper each year over a decade or longer. However, after discussing the project with Dr. Joseph Super and observing his willingness to fund the digitization of two years of the West Winfield STAR, Gene and Mary Doremus decided to reach out to the community for its help.

 Through ownership of the West Winfield STAR, Gene and Mary Doremus had built a contact list of approximately 600 households. Using those contacts, Gene and Mary Doremus reached out to local community members, organizations and businesses with an exciting offer: anyone who purchased a year of the West Winfield STAR to digitize would receive a biography of themself or their family, along with a picture, inserted before the first page of the digitized paper for the year purchased and a digital copy of the newspapers for the year purchased.

 Community members and organizations gladly took up the offer and responses quickly poured in from individuals who were willing to pay for a year of the West Winfield STAR to be digitized. Beyond the desire to preserve the history of themselves or their families, many individual donors simply wanted this valuable resource to be preserved for generations to come. Before long, Gene and Mary Doremus had no shortage of donors in support of this massive undertaking.

 Currently, over 100 years of the West Winfield STAR have been digitized, as the two-year-long project finally approaches its end. Anyone interested in viewing the historic editions of the newspaper can visit the Mount Markham CSD website at

 Gene Doremus hopes that this digital archive will be a resource, not only for the community in general but for students and teachers at Mount Markham CSD.

 “I hope that history teachers and their students at Mount Markham CSD will use this as a resource to learn more about history from the local perspective,” Doremus said.